As I understand it there are no records that show his statement was checked with that lodging house to confirm he had resided there prior to that night..
He didn't stay there that night, in fact from his own words he seems to have slept at some other address prior to that night.
He only took up residence at the Victoria Home from the 10th, he came in when it opened in the morning. That is what he said. He couldn't stay at his usual place, as he says, "my usual place was closed".
"The last person to have left the place must have closed the door behind him, taking with him the key from the spring lock, as it is missing."
Daily Telegraph, 10 Nov. 1888.
Even though the point of the comment was the missing key, it is also of importance to know this was a spring lock. Meaning the door bolt was spring loaded so the door locked itself when pulled shut.
These locks had a two knobs on the inside. One knob was slid horizontal to withdraw the door bolt. The other when slid up would retain the bolt in the withdrawn position, or if applied when the bolt was extended, would lock the door.
Do you have a photo of the sort of lock you're describing, Jon? I'm finding it hard to picture.
The Pall Mall Gazette 10 Nov describes Bowyer "on knocking at the door was unable to obtain an answer. On looking through the keyhole he found the key was missing."*
So this sounds to me like a mortice type lock, with a keyhole accessible from both sides and a separate sprung latch to keep the door closed (but not necessarily locked). But this can't be correct as this would need a separate handle on the outside to open. Whereas Barnet's tale implies that the door could be opened solely by turning the key, before it was lost.
I'm struggling to find Victorian examples of a type of lock which fits all known details.
*Incidentally, if he told the police this, he may be the source for them believing that the killer had taken the key. And, possibly, their assumption that the door needed unlocking rather than unlatching.